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Necessary intervention

  • Published
    11th Aug, 2023

    Context:

    Recently the updated numbers for quadrennial Tiger counts came to light, which urged for adoption of a changed strategy of conservation. Now, it is necessary for government to improve the Tiger habitat that sustains tigers to increasing their numbers.

    Highlights of the Report:

    • Released by: The Wildlife Institute of India and the National Tiger Conservation Authority are responsible for the quadrennial ‘Tiger Census’.
    • Regional growth in population: Madhya Pradesh, for the second time in eight years, reported 785 tigers, or about a fifth of the national count. The State reported a 50% rise in tigers since the last census.
    • Lesser increment: Bihar has less than 10% of M.P.’s tigers which is a cause of concern.

    Strategy derived from counts:

    • Implementing nation-side strategy: Like Madhya Pradesh which has perfected the approach of actively moving both tigers and their prey is to be a role model for all.
    • Increasing Prey population: Strategy must involve tracking, darting and capturing animals, keeping them in temporary enclosures until they reach sufficient numbers and then releasing them into their new habitat.
    • Forest conservation Act: Forest Conservation Act will give more leeway for large parcels of forest land to be diverted for industrial concerns. These would mean more dependence on the practice of moving prey around to maintain numbers.

    Changing India’s conservation ethos:

    • Shifting to Prey-predator balance: It is harder to maintain connected forest landscapes and ensure man and beast stay within their confines, thus to restore the predator-prey balance is important.
    • Harness the scientific expertise: Drawing on scientific expertise will support in implementation of active prey management policies.
    • Concentrate on habitat conservation: Rather than to focus on increasing numbers, there is need to maintain the proper habitat for their survival.
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